He is, first and beyond some considerable measure, a humanitarian who cares. His views on the current conflict – wise, calm and measured – are of a piece with what you would expect. He is, aptly, a delicate little flower unaccustomed to the brutal assaults that have been acted out upon his delicate, neatly cultivated, sensibilities. He is, it seems these days, a flight from peril, always.
Closer, day by day, he creates for himself – and for whoever he can sell it to – a panoply of remedies that he fashions from flowers. The essence of flowers, as he tells it. This whiff of flowers is enough, he claims, to tackle all manner of ills and slights, whether physical or – and especially – mental. One great fucking sniff up the hooter and your life, guaranteed, will be back on track. Assuming, of course, that your life was ever on track in the first place.
Vibrational essences and all. What you do is get your glass hardware and get enough flowers and fill your bowl half full with water on a sunny day and get your pendulum and keep it all away from animals and children until you can remove the flowers from the bowl and fill the brown bottles with your essence water which will, as you know, become your MOTHER ESSENCE which, when removed from electricity and the mocking laughter of everyone you come across, will last for years and years and years. Dilute the essence in some kind of medical alcoholic solution and stick it under the nose of any gullible shitwad who has both too much time and too much money. Step back, count the money and counter all appropriate attacks with the standard hippy whine of what a lovely caring person you truly are and – this is important – ensure to let everybody know just how deeply fucking wounded you are and act as if you simply cannot comprehend why anyone would want to attack someone such as yourself who is, let us not forget: a humanitarian, an anti-war protester, a friend of Muslims everywhere, a man who cares, an active environmentalist, a degree holder in politics from one of the UK’s top 5 political science universities, a paid researcher for both the Labour and Tory parties, a potential PhDer on an aspect of African politics, a man whose opinions are respected, a part-time lecturer on Italian politics and aspects of British voting, a disaffected politico who has for many reasons withdrawn from politics – the late 90s and the events leading up to and during and after the invasion of Iraq in 2003 finally convincing you of the worthlessness of politics because you believe what matters is the economics of maintaining the dominance of certain countries. Whatever that means. How could anyone possibly attack someone like you?
But what else about this spineless, jelly-headed, nauseating little fool?
He is a musician of sorts, plying his wares on the internet with his specially-designed web page, specially designed by him, with stark, imposing line drawings of trees and stuff, like the front cover of a book about dark trees and barren wastelands and stuff. You enter and enter and drill down through the first five pages of self-regarding puke until, at last, you can download one of those mp3s and hear for yourself how his dismality has, as you guessed it might, followed him through to his exquisite world of exquisite sound. Two seconds is all it takes. How could anyone hate it? He plays all the instruments himself. He has written his own lyrics which are doubly featured, fat and bold on the page, as poems. Poems! With something to say!
Tender though, and creepy, he is like mist on the streets at night, sliming up to old tramps and derelicts, making himself useful down in that soup kitchen. His childhood, well, a never mind of privilege and bounty that he tells himself – has convinced himself – does not matter as long as he is – and he is – truly at one with those people around him. He sits on stone steps in the day time, a camera round his neck, a notepad in his pocket, documenting the speech and tics of the ordinary folk he has chosen to mix with. Because they and that and all that they do and say is like, you know, a kind of folk poetry, a kind of art in and of itself and, you know, it’s disappearing and it’d be great if someone could capture it and boil it down and dilute it and maybe extract the fucking essence of it and sell it back at ten times the price pretending, at all times, that they know all about this fucking culture they have chosen to appropriate and steal from and be a part of. The old tramps and the derelicts and the patronised housewives and waitresses and shop assistants and cleaners are permanently, working in shifts, standing behind him, mouthing obscenities in silence. It is why he never hears them.